Rhian Rees & Joel Roberts
Sri Lanka 17 nights & Maldives 4 nights
April - May
Overall review: We had an amazing time on our honeymoon. Ruchira was waiting for us at the airport with his aircon car and bottles of water which were much appreciated.
Hotels: We enjoyed each hotel we stayed at and loved the excitement of moving somewhere new every few days. Our highlights were vil uyana- the room was so airy and rustic and having our own private plunge pool was fab- in fact we didn't use the main pool. It was a lovely space to spend the first few days of our honeymoon. It felt so private and we loved being right in the midst of nature. We spent some of our Favourite moments drinking cocktails and watching the fireflies here. I think 98 acres was also one of my favourites, the view from our room was breath taking and I loved the cooler climate here. Cinnamon Wild was one of Joel's favs due to the amount of widelife that was around. He got up at dawn to start taking photos! Aditya was a lovely bit of luxury. The staff there were incredible and the food was the best we had in Sri Lanka. Wandering round the hotel looking at all the old artificed and lounging around the pool or reading in the hammocks. I could have stayed there indefinitely! Our suite was so special- loved the uv starry night on the ceiling! What a place. Atmosphere kanifushi just blew our socks off. The room was spacious and the bathroom was divine with a large jacuzzi bath. Sitting on the deck watching the sunset over the turquoise waters were some of the happiest times of our honeymoon. I also wondered whether the Maldives was overrated- it is not! Everything was considered at atmosphere. They even had little fridges along the road cleverly disguised to blend with the landscape so you were never too far from a cold drink!
Chauffeur-Guide: Ruchi was fantastic. He was really knowledgable and Sri Lanka and it's history and helped us make the most of our excursions. He was happy to help arrange additional excursions and even rung previous hotels to try and find clothes I had left behind!
Excursions: The safari's were a real highlight especially the one in Yala. We were lucky enough to see a leopard cross the road in front of our jeep! It was incredible!
We also enjoyed Sigiriya. I've never see Anything like it before. We climbed and got to the top to enjoy sunset which I would recommend! Ruchi always seemed to know the best time of day to do things.
Temple of the tooth was also wonderful to see especially whilst a puja takes place. Loved seeing all the tradition and learning more about the history of the tooth from Ruchi.
The train journey to Ella was spectacular! I was a bit worried about 6 hours in 3rd class but it was great. We had locals singing and snacks offer through the window throughout the journey through villages and the tea plantations.
I adored the turtle hatchery. Wow- amazing that they rescue the eggs and enable them to safely return to the sea and the baby turtles were so cute!
Joel loved snorkelling in pigeon island and seeing all the reef sharks! I was a little too scared snorkelling with them and found the island was pretty busy so best for those who want to spend the whole time in the water.
The only excursion I didn't enjoy was the elephant orphanage. It seemed more like an elephant zoo and i watching the baby elephants get fed by bottles, it seemed quite exploitative and I felt quite uncomfortable. We didn't stay very long. Seeing the elephants in their natural habitat was far more enjoyable for us.
We also didn't live the Polonnuwara ruins. It was very hot and I had to wear full length trousers due to the temples and no hat and shoes which was uncomfortable in the heat. However it's a very personal thing and I can imagine lots of people would really enjoy them. I just don't like ruins that much but I think it's because I prefer natural beauty, wildlife and countryside rather than man made things, even though they were very old.
Best memory of the trip: That's hard to pick! Overall the Maldives probably for the relaxation after no total luxury but the whole trip was fantastic. We were able to relax and just got with the flow.
How was the trip overall: Excellent
Could we have served you any better?: No!
Any ideas on what we could do differently to make our travel service even better?: I think we would have maybe enjoyed slightly less excursions and more time to relax and enjoy the fab hotels in Sri Lanka but I do think that's a very personal thing. I also think as it was our honeymoon and we had been so busy before, we probably needed a little more r n r that we usually do on a holiday
Good enough to recommend?: Yes
Would you travel with us again?: Yes